Our Staff

If you need assistance regarding adoption, surrendering an animal, lost or found animals, wildlife, obedience classes, or general information,
please call 630-323-5630 during our business hours.

Shelter Operations

Tom Van Winkle
Tom Van Winkle
CEO
630-323-5630 x11
tom.vanwinkle@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Tom Van Winkle brings more than 20 years of animal welfare industry experience to his position as Executive Director of HHS since 2017. Beginning with his early experience as a volunteer and board member of a small humane society in 1997, Tom also served as executive director for a humane society in the Chicago suburbs in 2005. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Finance from Loyola University. Tom credits his upbringing in a family filled with compassion as a source of constant inspiration as he guides HHS to become one of the premier animal shelters in the country.

Jacki Rossi
Jacki Rossi
Executive Director
630-323-5630 x12
jacki.rossi@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Inspired by her early experience working on farm animal welfare and food safety with family farmers, Jacki Rossi has worked for more than 12 years on development and communications within two of her greatest passions: animal welfare and youth programming. Since joining HHS as the Humane Educator, she was promoted to the Development Director role in 2018 and most recently assumed the role of Executive Director. Jacki has volunteered for New Leash on Life in Chicago for 10 years, where she is also a member of the Board of Directors and serves as the Foster Coordinator. She also volunteers as a grant writer for Mother's Against Senseless Killings in Chicago. Jacki has a BA from Purdue University, has studied at Oxford University, and holds a development certificate from The Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Dr. Kristin Tvrdik, D.V.M.
Dr. Kristin Tvrdik, D.V.M.
Medical Director
630-323-5630 x41
kristin.tvrdik@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Dr. Kristin Tvrdik has 7 years of experience as a Shelter Veterinarian and Spay/Neuter Surgeon, as well as 14 years of experience working in animal welfare. She intially began work in the field as an intern, animal care technician, and adoption counselor at HHS in 2005.She obtained a BS in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University. After earning her DVM, she served as Lead Shelter Veterinarian at a humane society in the Quad Cities followed by 4 1/2 years as Medical Director of an animal shelter and Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic in Indiana. She joined the HHS team as Medical Director in May of 2019 and is excited to provide high quality care for dogs and cats that reside temporarily at the humane society before they move on to their forever homes.

Samantha Cheatham
Samantha Cheatham
Animal Care & Intake Director
630-323-5630 x25
samantha@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Samantha Cheatham has worked at the Hinsdale Humane Society for more than 20 years as a long-time volunteer focused on working in animal care. When Samantha first joined HHS at the original facility in 2001, she was instrumental in caring for all of our cats, dogs, and a few bunnies and birds. Samantha now serves as a full time HHS Animal Care & Intake Director, responsible for the welfare and enrichment of all animals at HHS, motivated daily by her compassion for animals and her passion for helping them. Prior to joining Hinsdale Humane Society, Samantha was the office manager at a small family business in Berwyn.

Jessica Hiltner
Jessica Hiltner
Shelter & Community Programs Director
630-323-5630 x46
jessica.hiltner@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Jessica's passion for animals started at birth, growing up with a menagerie of family pets from your run of the mill dogs and cats to birds and salamanders. She also spent summers on her Aunt's dairy farm in Minnesota. She rescued her first dog during her senior year of college in 2001 and was forever hooked on the world of rescue. She began fostering in 2009, opened a third-party fundraising business in the fall of 2017, that has since raised over $200,000 for local shelters, and is how she was introduced to HHS.  Jessica joined the team in January of 2021 bringing with her 12 years of experience in animal welfare; and a passion for fostering, driving animal transports, and community outreach. Regular “violator” of all dogs and will kiss and hug your dog if it goes near her… you’ve been warned.
 

Carla Wudi
Carla Wudi
Animal Care & Foster Manager
630-323-5630 x48
carla.wudi@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Carla is a strong believer in HHS’ motto of “Be Kind to All Kinds.” She has worked with exotic rescues, chickens, rabbits, rats, and even fostered a baby kangaroo. Carla handles the daily medication and feeding of animals at the shelter, as well as ensuring their comfort and happiness. She manages all animals that come in and works in lockstep with our veterinary team to ensure they are all healthy. She administers behavior assessments of kittens and cats before they go up for adoption, and is also an adoption counselor, which allows her to follow animals from the moment they come in, to the moment they walk out the doors with their new families. Carla is mom to 3 girls ranging from college age to 8 years old. She loves her job and is proud to work at HHS.

Kelsey Barry
Kelsey Barry
Volunteer Coordinator
630-323-5630 x24
kelsey@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

After becoming a certified veterinary technician in 2014 and working in veterinary clinics, Kelsey Barry found her true passion helping and saving shelter animals. Kelsey has been with Hinsdale Humane Society since 2015, first as an adoption counselor, helping families find their new forever friend, and now, in her current role as Foster and Volunteer Coordinator, managing hundreds of volunteers and matching them to their ideal position in the shelter. The foster families she manages help to care for dozens of animals in need of special care each year. When she's not working, you can find her hanging out with, and spoiling, her HHS alumni, Freddie Purrcury.

Jamie Merlo
Jamie Merlo
Training & Enrichment Manager
jamie.merlo@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Jamie has always loved and respected animals. While at the University of Hawaii she began working with monk seals and this is where her passion and career in animal care and training began. After graduation, Jamie moved back to Illinois where she worked with dolphins, seals, and sea lions for 15 years. She was responsible for the daily care of the animals which included training, husbandry, and enrichment.  Jamie believes that training should be a fun and positive experience for the animals and she is able to accomplish this with operant conditioning and positive reinforcement training techniques. 

Fred DeHart
Fred DeHart
Veterinary Technician
630-323-5630
fred.dehart@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Patty Powell
Patty Powell
Animal Care Technician
patty@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Cassie Vail
Cassie Vail
Adoption Counselor
630-323-5630
cassie.vail@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Danielle Kosnik
Danielle Kosnik
Adoption Counselor
630-323-5630
danielle.kosnik@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Lia Bouzarelos Kopta
Lia Bouzarelos Kopta
Adoption Counselor
630-323-5630
lia.b.kopta@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Theresa Papaurelis
Theresa Papaurelis
Adoption Counselor
630-323-5630
theresa.papaurelis@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Matt Saunders
Matt Saunders
Adoption Counselor
630-323-5630
matt.saunders@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Kelsie Weisenberger
Kelsie Weisenberger
Adoption Counselor
630-323-5630
kelsie.weisenberger@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Jake Razzino
Jake Razzino
Maintenance
jake.razzino@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Kathy Daly
Kathy Daly
Receptionist
630-323-5630
kathy@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

As an HHS receptionist and administrative associate since 2004, Kathy Daly enjoys helping the public with all the joys and challenges of animal adoption and providing information about the wide variety of HHS resources and programs available, as well as myriad other tasks behind the scenes. She is an advocate for cruelty-free methods and products and a greener environment, and her home has permanent dog and bird residents and, on occasion, foster cats, dogs, and birds. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology.

Robin Carroll
Robin Carroll
Marketing & Public Relations Director
630-323-5630 x13
pr@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Robin Carroll has decades of experience developing marketing, communications, and public relations initiatives for corporations. Leaving the corporate world behind to pursue her passion for animal welfare, she joined Hinsdale Humane Society in 2013 and has never looked back. As Marketing Director, she oversees all of HHS' marketing, social media and public relations, with a goal of spreading awareness about animals in need through education, advocacy and by telling the real life stories taking place within the building every day. Robin has a BA in English and Art History from the Univeristy of Wisconsin Milwaukee and is working toward her Executive Scholar Certificate through Kellogg's Non-Profit Program.

Deborah Kraus
Deborah Kraus
Development Director
630-323-5630 x32
deborah.kraus@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

During her career working in financial management and technology sales and client support, Deborah Kraus has volunteered with the Hinsdale Humane Society since 1994, working with animal socialization, fundraising, special events, and various administrative duties. In 2010, she began working as the HHS Pet Therapy Coordinator, handling the administrative details of the pet theraoy programs, recruiting new teams, scheduling sessions, and ensuring that Pet Therapy teams received the training and support necessary for the success of the organization. After becoming the Pet Therapy Program Manager in 2017, she expanded the program to incorporate relationship development with participating organizations, including nursing homes, libraries, and AMITA Health. In addition to monitoring the delivery of existing programs and incorporating any needed adjustments, Deborah works to expand the reach of the program into the community and encourage financial support. Her experience in volunteer programs extends to working scouting, alumni associations, her church, and her township political organization. Deborah holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA in Finance from DePaul University.

Kelsey Weivoda
Kelsey Weivoda
Marketing Manager
630-323-5630
kelsey.weivoda@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Kelsey Weivoda has been an animal lover since the day she was born, growing up with at least two dogs at all times. When service hours became a required part of middle school curriculum, instead of going to the local soup kitchen like everyone else, Kelsey gravitated towards the nearest animal shelter. Four years later, Kelsey was training new volunteers, as a high school student! This started her passion for working with animals, especially the ones who don’t have a loving home yet. Kelsey has a BA in Broadcast Communications and a BA in Organizational Communications, both from North Central College. Looking for a way to connect her love of animals and her learned skills, Kelsey found the perfect match in the HHS Marketing Manager and Videographer position, beginning in late 2019.

Dee Downs
Dee Downs
Event Coordinator
630-323-5630 x47
dee.downs@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Sarah Livingstone
Sarah Livingstone
Development Assistant
630-323-5630
sarah.livingstone@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Susan D'Alexander
Susan D'Alexander
Pet Therapy Program Manager
susan.dalexander@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Lauren Link
Lauren Link
Humane Education Program Manager
630-323-5630
lauren.link@hinsdalehumanesociety.org

Lauren Link is always looking for ways to improve the lives of animals, whether she’s providing a foster home, volunteering at local animal shelters and sanctuaries, or participating in events and demonstrations with animals rights groups. She began volunteering at HHS as a dog-walker in late 2019, and shortly after accepted the position of Humane Educator. Lauren holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Loyola University Chicago.

Nancy Ritter
Nancy Ritter
Finance Manager
630-323-5630, ext. 31
nancy.ritter@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Mary Drew
Mary Drew
Technology & Website Coordinator
630-323-5630 x34
web@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Lori Buchowicz
IT Specialist
lori.buchowitz@hinsdalehumanesociety.org
Sam Tiemeyer
IT Technician
630-323-5630
sam.tiemeyer@hinsdalehumanesociety.org